Just as in everyday life, technology is ever more important to the lettings world. Property tech can make life easier, free you up to concentrate on bringing in new business and help your agency’s systems run more smoothly. There are some simple steps you can take today to take advantage of the technology at your fingertips and really boost your business.
If you have limited time, but big ideas, here are some ways to use property tech to stay competitive and provide excellent customer service to both your landlords and your tenants.
Automating processes can be as simple or as complicated as you wish, but they all save you time that could be better spent on other areas of your day-to-day work. An easy first step is to apply rules to your email inbox.
You can set your inbox up so that different emails end up in different folders. You could have separate folders for landlords and tenants, with the name of the sender determining where the message ends up. This means you don’t have to trawl through hundreds of emails about different subjects to find the one you want to action.
It could be that the program places them in folders based on keywords. Anything that mentions a certain property can be grouped together, or anything that is marked ‘enquiry’ ends up in another folder, meaning you can deal with all the messages in one go when you are ready or delegate the correspondence to a relevant member of staff. All of these rules are easy to put into action in any of the major email programs.
There are many other processes that you can automate using apps available online. They could relate to your workflow for dealing with new tenants or marketing a property, where the next task begins automatically once the previous task is complete. You can set these up yourself using existing available property tech or you could sign up for designated automation software like Kissflow or K2.
Utilise the Cloud
Saving data in the cloud is an essential part of property tech. It is well protected in a way that running your own server system might not be. Another benefit is that you won’t lose all of the important information and documents that you need if a virus gets into your local system.
If everyone in your office uses the cloud to collaborate on documents, it makes communication work more smoothly. Rather than editing documents, saving them to a shared network drive and shouting across the room to someone else who then opens it and adds their edits, you can see updates in real time at the same time. Similarly, agents out in the field can update cloud-based documents and the changes will appear back at the base immediately. This helps avoid sending any more viewers out to homes that have already been let and allows staff on viewings to update their shared calendars so that everyone knows when they are free or not.
Make The Repairs Process Work For Everyone
As a letting agent, you often find yourself in the middle of the repair process, trying to negotiate with both sides and find an agreement on who is responsible for which fixes and when the best times are to send contractors to the property.
Having a property tech system that tenants can log into with their issues and which alerts landlords to provide a response streamlines the whole procedure. The parties can agree on whether small repairs can be fixed by the tenants or on when to arrange more substantial repairs between themselves, freeing the letting agent up to work on other tasks.
There are a number of paid online repair reporting systems available, such as FixFlo and ActiveRepairs, while the National Landlords Code of Excellence Ltd provides a similar tool for free.
Ready to Start Using Property Tech?
If you are ready to use property tech for your letting agent business, there are a number of steps you can take. You don’t have to completely change the way you work immediately, but it is worth gradually adding in digital solutions to some common problems in order to free yourself up.
These are the ways that letting agencies will keep themselves ahead of the game as time goes on and as proptech becomes more advanced and powerful. If you can jump onto the trend now, not only will you feel the time and cost-saving benefits of proptech, but it will also help you keep up with the rate of change that new technology brings.
Other Ways to Free Up Time
Another way to free up your time is to outsource your property management services to Executive Property Management Solutions. We can chase references and rent arrears on your behalf, as well as carrying out the repairs that your tenants report. Find out more about our property management outsourcing options at the Make Lettings Easier page.